Dropping onto Netflix today is the romantic comedy-drama, That’s Amor. The movie – directed by Shaun Paul Piccinino – stars Riley Dandy, Isaac Gonzalez Rossi, and Nancy Lenehan, and follows the story of a young woman who discovers love through a cookery class.
In the movie, Sofia is about to turn 30 when she suddenly finds herself out of a job. To make matters worse, Sofia discovers her boyfriend is having an affair, and then she breaks her ankle after falling down a flight of stairs.
A couple of weeks pass by, and after moving in with her mother, Lainie, Sofia is struggling to get enthused about life. Many things have changed in such a short period of time, and she doesn’t know how best to move forward.
Keen to get Sofia back on track, Lainie signs them both up to a cookery class for couples, which is being held at a local restaurant. Although Sofia is not keen on attending (certainly not with her mother, anyway), Lainie manages to talk her daughter into taking part, and they are soon preparing a Spanish omelette with other couples.
During this first cooking session, Sofia catches the attention of Matias – a chef who is assisting with the class. Matias sees something special in Sofia and is interested in getting to know her better.
But having been let down before by her ex, Sofia is not sure she’s ready to pursue a new relationship. Can love blossom in the cookery class, or is romance firmly off the menu?
If you’re looking for a romantic movie which is high on production values, huge star names, and snappy dialogue, you won’t find it with That’s Amor. This film isn’t Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, or one of the many high-profile rom-com-dramas that have become fan-favourites.
That’s Amor is instead a by-the-numbers picture, with a straight-forward, predictable story. There’s nothing in here that hasn’t been done many times before, and it is fair to say this film is devoid of any originality.
However, That’s Amor isn’t a particularly bad movie – it’s just not very exciting. So, as long as you go into the movie with low expectations, you might come out the other end feeling somewhat entertained.
This is a laidback film, which doesn’t want to annoy or challenge anyone, and isn’t going to tax your brain. If this is what you’re after right now, and I know some people are, then you could do worse… I guess.
That’s Amor’s biggest crime is that it is simply not very imaginative. If you’ve seen one or two romantic dramas before, then you’ve essentially seen this one.
Will Sofia and Matias find love, or are they destined to go their separate ways? Well, even before you watch the movie, it’s likely you will know the answer.
There are no surprises here and nothing you couldn’t figure out from a few educated guesses. This film plays out exactly how you expect it to – it is basic rom-com 101 – and this means the journey Sofia and Matias embark on is a fairly obvious one.
I guess the real question here is, will you care about the predictability and lack of imagination? Will you sit down to watch this movie and be all that bothered if it repeats tropes and ideas you’ve seen before?
Well, possibly not; but this is simply because the film gets by on a few technicalities. That’s Amor looks nice enough, it doesn’t do anything particularly wrong, and the cast are all fine.
While this might not sound like the greatest endorsement, arguably the film’s best asset is that it doesn’t rock the boat. The film sails down the line, keeping everything on an even keel, and this makes it watchable if nothing else.
Would I sit through That’s Amor again? No; but I’m not currently drafting a letter of complaint to Netflix, demanding my subscription money back.
I found the film to be pleasant enough. The cast do most of the heavily lifting, but it is certainly OK and sometimes that’s enough.
If you adore rom-coms, you’ve seen them all before, but you’re still keen to watch another, then That’s Amor is fine. For everyone else, you won’t be missing out if you don’t catch this one.
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